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Topics - Miss Mae

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Your Thoughts Exactly / White lies
« on: May 20, 2022, 10:56:30 AM »
Would you tell your family that you have a debilitating illness or not?

I have asked myself that upon learning that someone recently found out that she has cancer. Apparently, she doesn’t want her children to worry about her because she plans to undergo every possible medical intervention first anyway.

                                   ARTWORK CREDIT: KINDPNG.COM

It’s evident though that she’d get hurt even more if her children would take her medical situation lightly. In her recent operation, the money she was given hadn’t been enough to cover her entire hospital bills, and the care she was accorded hadn’t been sufficient to make her illness less debilitating. I was therefore almost tempted to tell her children the truth about her real health condition if only to ease a bit of her worries—but then would that really of any comfort to her if I did so?

Knowing how it is to be seriously sick, I understand why she doesn’t want her loved ones to worry too much about her. No one would want to be gushed over with your ailment, right? It’s very stressful enough having to explain how you feel every now and then and to share with anyone what you’ve already been told by your doctor. It’s also not worth knowing that other people close to you won’t be able to lead “normal” lives just because you can’t lead your own life normally anymore.
But, of course, lies are lies—and letting your loved ones truly aware of what you’re going through is just being fair and honest to them. You won’t be withholding the truth from them. And by letting them know the facts about your health condition, you’ll find greater comfort in the depth of their sympathies.

I often hear a judge in a beauty contest of an afternoon variety show use the phrase "the both of you." Other times, other Filipino celebrities would use the phrase "the both of us" in talk shows. Are these usages correct, Sir?

Last Wednesday, I heard my second choice for president use "what matter" in a statement. I quickly check the phrase in some online dictionaries to find out if it was right and wasn't really surprised that it was not. I then thought that, maybe, spontaneity in a morning interview just got the better of a nonnative English speaker. But then he had used "what matter" again two days later for not fewer than three times, making me sure that the phrase was being deliberately used. What should be done in that case, Sir?

Badly Written, Badly Spoken / With regard vs. As regards
« on: October 27, 2021, 12:04:02 PM »
I remember reading an essay of yours advising the use of with regard. With that in mind, will I be correct in thinking that the use of as regards in the following sentence is wrong?

He also urged other countries to translate commitments into action as regards the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.

I have a 3-year old neighbor who's being the source of joy of everyone in our compound. Whenever he starts getting naughty, though, one of my neighbors would admonish him and say that he "go inside" their house. My mother maintains -- privately to me -- however, that it it should be "get inside." Should I have debated with her about that, Sir?

Thank you.

I didn't give the term "social distancing" much thought until I read Mr. Howie Severino argue that it should be referred to as "physical distancing" in a graduation speech. Is he correct, Sir? I thought "social" was used in that terminology in the same sense Aristotle had when he said "man is by nature a social animal."

Badly Written, Badly Spoken / Dangling modifier?
« on: February 07, 2020, 09:56:51 AM »
Sir, isn't the phrase "because even if love makes the world go round" a dangling modifier in this Facebook post of the National Wages and Productivity Commission (

"Because even if love makes the world go round, February 14 is still not a holiday"

Thank you.

Use and Misuse / Confusions till now
« on: October 08, 2019, 01:40:31 PM »
Till now, I would be thinking twice whenever I have to write something. Isn’t it just correct to use the present tense if the subject of the sentence is still “alive and kicking”? But what if that sentence is included in a paragraph that has already happened? Should I strictly observe one kind of tense only?

Also, I’ve come to think that you cannot use an adverb in a progressive tense. That “I also am just grabbing an opportunity” should be “I also am grabbing an opportunity.” But why does “I also am just grabbing an opportunity” sounds better? Is it simply just my perception or I really am just wrong?

Use and Misuse / On writing acronyms
« on: August 09, 2019, 03:09:44 PM »
I've been wondering about this for quite some time now: should acronyms be defined in emails (example: AVM for arteriovenous malformation)?

You see, I've been unable to walk properly again after my second brain operation. Only through emails can I request for interviews and discuss issues.

To explain these issues, though, words that could be shortened to acronyms would be mentioned. That's when I would think twice whether I should define the acronyms! I might sound officious and turn the person I'm talking with off if I do it. I might also seem unknowledgeable if I don't. Knowing what I should exactly do when confronted with this grammatical quandary could lighten things up for me.

I grew up hearing this particular requirement in contests: "Open to '18 years old and above' only." Lately, though, I heard a contest "open to '18 years old and older' only." Does this mean that one is right and one is wrong?

Badly Written, Badly Spoken / Do people travel for work or to work?
« on: June 09, 2019, 05:22:44 PM »
I wonder which is correct: "I travel for work a lot" or "I travel to work a lot". I think it should be the latter, though. Right?

Badly Written, Badly Spoken / PBGen for a brigadier general
« on: March 31, 2019, 03:38:35 PM »
Lately, I noticed that the news program I've been watching had been naming police officers in its reports differently from what it used to do. A police brigadier general is now PBGen. (before it was Brig. Gen.) while a police captain is now PCpt. (before it was Capt.). Wasn't it ill-advised in doing so?

Badly Written, Badly Spoken / Swipe left vs. swipe to the left
« on: February 25, 2019, 05:26:05 PM »
I am using an app that says "swipe left to reveal the comments." And so I tried to do the action the first time I had used it--sweeping my finger from the left side to the right side of my smartphone. But the comment page/section didn't appear. The other night, though, I accidentally moved my finger from the right side of my smartphone to the left side and the comment page/section appeared! So, I've come to think that the developers of the app should've put "swipe to the left to reveal the comments" instead. Right?

Use and Misuse / Election, elections, and making one happy
« on: February 24, 2019, 01:17:24 PM »
Is "election" more appropriate to use than "elections"? Why do some say the coming 2019 Philippine midterm election while others, 2019 elections?

Also, can you really "make" someone "happy"? I've come to believe that happiness is a personal decision so one can only give reasons for that someone to be happy; only the latter can say if he or she became happy.

Thank you.

Your Thoughts Exactly / My 33rd Christmas
« on: December 24, 2018, 09:07:33 AM »
Seven years ago, it occurred to me that I would die sometime this year.

It just seemed logical. My first brain operation happened last March 7, 1998. It was brought about by arteriovenous malformation (AVM) that affected my hearing, facial symmetry, and balance and coordination. I just happened to have a supportive mother who let me continue my studies despite being only able to walk.

My second brain operation happened last July 31, 2008.  I was working for two media outfits in the United Arab Emirates then when what had happened before recurred. It compromised my ability to walk alone completely and everything else that I've been rebuilding.

How could I not suffer from another brain operation after another 10 years?

But 2018 is already drawing to a close and nothing has happened. I still cannot walk. I still cannot hear in my right ear. I still have a disfigured physical appearance and I still am unable to write in either hand.

I still can key in keys in a keyboard, however (from only seven words per minute, I can now type 20). I also still can think. So even though there are still seven days before the year ends, I can now say that my chance to live again after two brain operations has, indeed, been a Christmas gift.

Badly Written, Badly Spoken / No for none
« on: July 14, 2018, 01:50:06 PM »
I heard an artist in a Filipino soap opera answered "no" when she had really meant "none" to a question raised by her fellow artist in the televised serial
the other day. I would have just shrugged that off but then I remember another incident like that involving a politician and a newscaster weeks ago. Can something still be done so that users of English would not confuse "no" for "none" anymore, Sir?

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